19:41


Lift my flaccid form from the cross, my body drained of blood

Relieve my dislocated arms of pressure, stiffened like planks of wood

Drape me over one of your backs as if I were a child

Carry me away on a man-made stretcher; all your arms compiled

Walk with care down the stairs, following one by one

For I am dead, nothing can change, alas the deed is done

Lay me in my darling’s arms as she bows her head  weeps

Don’t cry for me my lowly friends, for now forever I’ll sleep.

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Hosanna


Hosanna; let’s make our mark and preach the words you say

Jesus we are with you and we support you on this day.

Sing yourselves a song, you don’t know how blessed you are

You can all win the kingdom; as we are assisted from afar

Don’t waste your breath,  for we must sing this song

Why stand there in disgust, when you can come and sing along?

Point the flag high my friends; wave it with gusto and cheer

Shout the words I preach everyone, for we need the high-priests to hear

We won’t cease our shouting, following your every whim

You may as well drop your work, join our rabble and sing!

Impossible Love


You are by me when I need you most, Mary with your heart of gold
I relish the calm touch of your hand, love how our conversations unfold
The gentle scent of your sweet perfume is the most pleasurable comfort to me
Alas, people look down their nose at you. They don’t think this can ever be
Mary with your reassuring eyes, a woman of the streets I know
But you are my rock, most reliable friend and how I care for you so.

Look at me I’m little more than a whore, with my funny streetwise ways
But Jesus how I adore you my dear, I could simply admire you for days
Alas my friend; I cannot tell you; for I know you do not feel the same
And if I were to trouble your head more; I’d only have myself to blame
You are above my social class and yes I know I’ve had too many men
I’ll sit stationary,admiring you from here as you trouble your head again.

The Last Supper


The end is very near my friends, almost within my grasp

So now I must say farewell to you, this supper will be our last

Take the bread I break from me; for this is my body you eat

Taste the wine, my rich flowing blood as never again shall we meet

Oh God help me! Just look at you, with your faces blank and lost

Must I spell it out to you? My friends, my life will be the cost;

Of the wicked behaviour from all man-kind, my death shall be a warning.

I see that I mean nothing to you; won’t you spend a moment mourning?

Peter you will deny me, shun my existence loud and clear

Cast my memory away forever; say it three times for all to hear

One of my friends betrays me, the man is drunken and mislead

Does it make you happy Judas, that the one who stood by you will be dead?

Judas shook his head “you wanted me to do it” he muttered under his breath

Skulking away, overwhelmed by confusion and mentally contemplating his death.

 

 

Theodore -Chapter 62


“If I were to die here and now; I would be a happy man.”
“Please don’t say that!”
“It is true.”
“Poor Bonnie. You shall not die here, do not worry.”
“Am I to die?”
“I- I do not know.” Bonnie patted Theodore’s gloved hand, planting a tender kiss upon his cheek.“The horizon looks so beautiful. It is true; there is a nip in the air, but the sun casts beautiful beams of light over the waves which are caught in the ripples of the water. A small flock of seagulls fly overhead.”
“I hear them. How loud they are.” He sighed, placing his head upon Bonnie’s shoulder once more.
“Theodore, I am sorry that…”
“Yes Father?”
“I am truly sorry that you were not always able to experience the simpler things in life.”
“It was to be expected. After all, we are royalty.”
“I just wish that I was a stronger character, your Mother was…”
“Cruel and manipulative?”
“I was simply going to say that she was difficult to contend with.”
“What will you do Father?”
“That I have not contemplated, but do not worry. It is out of your hands my son. Come now, we must return to the palace.”

Mr Howard nodded, lifting Theodore from the Rug. Bonnie gathered the extra blankets as they placed an exhausted Theodore back into the carriage. She tenderly took his hand in hers as he slept, his head resting against her shoulder once more, as the movement rocked him into a deep sleep.
“Your Grace?” Bonnie patted his shoulder. “Your Grace, we are home.”
Theodore did not stir, but breathed gently. Bonnie sighed and adjusted the blanket around him as Mr Howard began to carry him inside.
“Howard, he had better go straight into bed.” King Rupert whispered.
“Yes, of course.”
Bonnie followed Mr Howard up the staircase as the king stood gingerly in the hall way.
“Perhaps I should go?” Bonnie suggested.
“I think you most probably need rest. I will stay with his Grace now and I dare say the king will come and join me.”
Bonnie swallowed. “Forgive me for saying this, but… he looks frightful.”
Mr Howard nodded. “I know.”
“I want to stay for a while, just in case.” Bonnie smoothed the hair from Theodore’s face as he slept deeply but peacefully.
“I think today was all far too much and for that, I am sorry. At the time, I think things are a good idea but then later I regret my actions. You are drained.”
“It is not your fault Miss McGrath. He was so happy, I think the memory will stay with him always. I am not so tired, but you must go to bed.”
“Yes of course.” Bonnie kissed Theodore’s forehead. “Goodnight to you both.”
“Please; Bonnie do not go.”
“Oh? I see you are awake.”
“Sit by me for a while.”
“With pleasure.”
“I just wanted to thank you both for the most wonderful day and Father also. I think at last he is coming into his own. He does not need Mother to help him rule.”
“He is a good man. Here, put this on for you are so cold.”
Bonnie placed a cardigan over Theodore’s nightshirt and wrapped her spare shawl around his shoulders.
“That should help a little. Why don’t you mention it when you are cold?”
“I didn’t think I was.” Theodore yawned.
“Sleep now.”
“I’d rather speak with you. Please; hold my hand in yours.”
Bonnie did so, sensing his cold flesh underneath her fingertips in the dinginess of the room.
“Would you like some water or tea? You- your Grace?”
He did not answer. “I’ll go.” Mr Howard mouthed, stroking Theodore’s cheek.
“Goodbye your Grace, you are kind and wise beyond your years. It has been a joy serving you.” He kissed Theodore’s cheek in a Fatherly manner, wiping away a tear and glancing at Theodore one last time.

**
Theodore opened his eyes, attempting to lift his head from the pillow. He could not. A sharp pain seared his chest and he flopped to one side.
“Oh God!” Bonnie placed her arm under his neck, producing a bottle of smelling salts and holding them under his nose, but he did not inhale. She placed the back of her hand in front of his mouth sensing the faintest of breath upon her skin.
“Please, Father; don’t  let die. Not like this.” Bonnie prayed. “Your Grace.”
He sighed a little. “Sorry.” He muttered. “It happens.”
“I know, it is not your fault.”
“Bonnie?”
“Yes?”
“Please, lie beside me. Only, I wish to lie with another again. Just as a friend.”
Bonnie sighed, he had so little time left.  She climbed into his bed next to him, wrapping her arms around his neck as she helped him to place his head upon her shoulder.
“Bonnie?”
“Yes?”
“Do you recall when I wrote my will?”
“I do.”
Theodore laughed weakly; “Part of it might be of use to you.”

“Bonnie my darling, it is nearly time for him to leave your world.”
“Father!” Bonnie whispered. “Oh you’ll take care of him, won’t you?”
“Yes, I promise, my brave, selfless daughter.”
“I-I can hear you.”
“I am all around you, in the air that you breathe in the lane which you walk. I am there and always will be and now Theodore will be. It is time.”
“John? Oh how you look like Bonnie, you have her kind eyes and warm smile.”
Theodore gasped, his eyes filling with tears. It was true, in the hazy outline, John McGrath carried a small bundle in his arms.
“My-my baby?”
“He is here with me.”
“I had a son?”
“Yes, your Grace. Come and meet him now, he would have looked very much like you, with your fine hair and handsome features, had he lived. We are waiting, waiting on a Prince.”
“Your Grace, I have got you. I’ll look after your body, but you must allow your soul to go with my Father.”
“I can’t, I am not ready!”
“Help him Bonnie. We must help him pass.”
“Shhh, I am going to assist you, it is time to let go. I-imagine you are sat on our bench in the garden, feel the cold stone beneath your fingertips. I remain at your side and you feel so warm for you are wrapped up in your woollen coat, with a rug over your legs. A little robin sits in the tree, he hides his head underneath his wing.”
“I see him.” Theodore muttered. “But a man beckons, he says my name. John it is you! Oh he looks like you Bonnie!”
“I carry your Son.”
“My baby! My baby boy!” Theodore smiled. “He is beautiful, Bonnie told me that we would meet, she was right. I am ready John, please don’t go. Oh wait for me.”
“Help him Bonnie.”
“Your Grace, I take your hand.” She did so. “I will guide you to my Father. We- we will walk together, I am taking you closer to him now.”
“John. Oh, you and Bonnie look so alike.” Theodore smiled.
“Take my Father’s arm instead.”
“Take it Theodore.”
In his mind, Theodore did. Sensing the soft folds of John’s shirt sleeve underneath his fingertips.
“He will take you to heaven.” Bonnie wept.  “I love you.” She whispered. “With all my heart and soul, but now it is time to let go.”
Theodore nodded. Bonnie kissed him once more and her tears dropped upon his snowy cheeks as the last procrastinating breath slipped from his blue-hued lips.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Martyr


The crown of thorns pressed onto his head, penetrating his skin

Ruby droplets of blood drained down as his soul ached from within

Vision hazed; his head flopped forwards as he was grabbed by a heavy grasp

He must bear this and let things lie, as it was his duty to fulfil his task

Hammers chiseling and nails galore, they nailed him to the wood

Raised it to the heavens above the ground he bore consequences as he knew he should

Hours passed, as his arms weakened and the bones dislodged from his joints

His chest so stretched, he lost all hope. To struggle there would be little point

“Father forgive me, this is all my fault my people are misled and confused

If I had managed better, we would have succeeded, this religion would not be abused

But why oh why have you forgotten me? You let things end on this horrible day

And now I shall die and become a martyr, in this undignified, painful way.”

As he hung tortured, the sun disappeared, performing a solar eclipse

Alas, he did die as the last pained breath escaped from his blue-hued lips.

Theodore- Chapter 61


“Bonnie, what ever did you do when you were away?”
“I am afraid that I was little use to anybody. But, I tried to fill my days with useful tasks.”
“How I yearned for you. One night I felt so ill, I was certain that I was going to die, but Mr Howard stayed with me throughout. If Mother had her way, he would have been dismissed too. I asked Father and he agreed that Mr Howard should come and get you. He brought you back to me.”
“Yes, yes they did. Let’s not dwell on the past. We must look to the future now.”
“I no longer have one. Look at me!”
“Shhh.”
Bonnie placed her arms around his neck and supported his body, so that his head might rest upon her shoulder.
“I promise you that- it does not do you much good to be cooped up inside this palace when there is a perfectly safe bath chair. I think I am going to speak with Mr Howard. Here, drink some more water.”
“Oh, why?”
“Do not ask questions, for it may be a surprise.”
“I am so confused.”
“You needn’t be, but you are half perished.”
Bonnie took her shawl and wrapped it around him. “Thank you.” “Sometimes change can do a person the world of good. I’ll leave you with that thought, but for now my friend; you must close your eyes and sleep.”

“I love the idea!” Mr Howard beamed, adjusting the ornaments upon the fireplace of one of the parlours. “However, I shall have to speak with the king first, before we make further plans. Come, I will assist you and you must speak to him yourself.”
“Yes of course. Except, I do not want to leave his Grace for too long.I am afraid that I am a little scared.”
“Ah, I see. Then; you may stay here while I ask him to speak with you.”
“Of course, thank you.”

King Rupert cleared his throat, taking a long sip of tea from the hand-painted tea-cup. He smiled, rubbing his chin in thought.
“I think it’s a capital idea!”
“You do?”
“Why yes. I do not know why we did not think of it before. It is a warm day and we are not so far from a beach. You and Miss McGrath have my full permission to take Theodore for as long as he wishes to one of the coves, allow him to sit on the cover and inhale the fresh, sea air. It is practically private”
“Wont you come, your Grace?”
“I- I have.” King Rupert paused, gazing at the little red breasted robin perched upon one of the finer tree branches.
“Well of course I am coming! I do not know what I was thinking! Howard, insure that Theodore is wrapped up warm and prepare the smallest horse and carriage.”
“My goodness, I had convinced myself that you would say no.”
“And why would I do that Howard? My Son is dying, the least I can do is to adhere to his wishes, now go and see to Theodore. Make sure he is ready and meet me in the parlour in half an hour.”
“Yes your Grace and thank you.” A beaming Mr Howard returned to Theodore’s bedroom. “And?”
“And, your Grace, I am delighted to inform you that your Father thought it was a capital idea and he has insisted that he must come too. Now then, I must dress you if I may and…”
Theodore placed his arms around Mr Howard’s neck, holding him close. Mr Howard paused, reciprocating the warm embrace, tears welling in his eyes. He patted Theodore’s shoulder, clearing his throat.
“Ahem, let’s get you wrapped up.”
He opened the wardrobe, fetching some comfortable clothes and warm over garments. He returned to Theodore, helping him put them on. “It feels strange wearing proper clothes again. Where is Bonnie?”
“Getting ready herself. I will have to carry you downstairs.”
Theodore nodded.
“Are you sure you…”
“I want to do this.” Theodore whispered.
Bonnie stood by the door. “Here are a couple of blankets, but I see that you are well wrapped up.” Bonnie took his gloved hand in hers.
“Here is your Father now.”
Bonnie and Howard bowed in acknowledgement as Mr Howard carried Theodore outside, into the waiting horse and carriage.
“Theodore should go in the middle.”
King Rupert smiled.
“A rose between two thorns.”
Theodore added. Theodore rested his head on Bonnie’s shoulder as he took her hand in his. “It is a rather exciting excursion, don’t you think?”
Bonnie stroked his cheek.
“I do.”
“Tell me truthfully, do I look pale?”
“Like a ghost, but the fresh, salty sea air will soon bring warmth back into your colourless cheeks. How do you feel?”
“Like I could sleep for a hundred years.” Theodore muttered. “But apart from that, I am pain-free.”
“I give you full permission to rest your head against my shoulder.” Bonnie glanced at King Rupert and Mr Howard, who nodded and smiled in agreement.
**
“We’re here.”
“Oh.”
Mr Howard scurried from the carriage and opening the door for king Rupert. With care, he placed it on the ground, putting on the breaks and lifting Theodore from the carriage. Theodore gritted his teeth.
“Forgive me, did I hurt you?”
“No, it is the pain within my chest that ails me. You are not to blame.”
“It is worse than before?”
“Yes.
Theodore admitted honestly as Mr Howard wrapped extra blankets around his frail body.
“I think your ears are going to get cold.”
“I do not own a hat.” Theodore admitted.
“Then, we must put your scarf over your head. It will also act like a disguise.”
“I will look like a little traveller!”
“Keep warm, your Grace.”
“John.” Theodore whispered, a small smile creasing his lips.
“Yes, I’ll have the scarf.”
“There now your Grace, can you sense the warmth of the sun?”
“Yes.”

Mr Howard carried Theodore down the small path as the King and Bonnie followed closely behind. Bonnie took the extra rug which was tucked under her arm and placed it upon the ground. Bonnie sat upon it.
“I am not sure if I can sit.” Theodore whispered.
“Then, you can rest against me once more.” They lay Theodore on the rug, so his head was supported by Bonnie’s shoulder, the wisps of hair blowing freely around his face. “That is so much better. I am most comfortable.”
“And you are cosy?”
“Yes.  Listening to the whistle of the sea air is most delicious.” He muttered, closing his eyes. Mr Howard placed a hand upon his shoulder as Bonnie stroked that fading face.
“This reminds me of my childhood.” Bonnie smiled. “We used to live not far from the beach; I taught Andrew how to build sand castles and how to hunt in rock pools. Your Grace?”
“Hmm?”
“Oh, I am sorry.”
“I was listening.”
“Perhaps we should return.” Mr Howard suggested.
“No, I don’t want to do that. Please, all of you; stay with me. Father, are you still there?”
King Rupert gazed into the horizon, his eyes misty with tears.
“I am here.”
He lifted up the strand of hair upon Theodore’s head which had blown the wrong way and adjusted it accordingly.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Damned


Yes I’m going to help you, isn’t it plain for you to see?

In front of you powerful high priests stands little old me

Oh I’ve been racking my brains, thinking this all through

It only seemed right that I ran my plans by you

Don’t look at me like that; I’m not in this for myself

I don’t need your blood money, I don’t crave eternal wealth

Jesus is losing his way along his self- obsessed path

Just take him down a peg or two, nothing too brash

The man is no longer clever; his ideas are far from wise

I’m tired of his antics, I can no longer sympathise;

With his foolish little tantrums or crocodile tears

I’ve had enough, I stood by him for three years;

Just promise me one thing, keep this secret between you and me

Assure me I haven’t condemned my soul for all eternity.

Galilean


Who is this little Galilean, who crosses my path in my dream?

Why does he look so haunted, as if he is falling apart at the seams?

He is a man of many talents, yet possesses a look so rare

People supported him from a-far, once he seemed to care

My dream is changing, how the tide turns, the coin flips to the other side

His actions are not tolerated and his behaviour they cannot abide

Why does a room once empty, fill with men angry and wild?

The Galilean sinks to the floor and sits there like an insolent  child

I ask him to tell me what has happened and explain how it all began

But his lips are sealed; he remains silent, this foolish little man

I see people in mourning in the years to come, weeping and ashamed

Unforgiving words escape their lips and I hear the cursed mention of my name.

Theodore- Chapter 60


“Bony or not, I can assure you that I could not be more content.”
“Hmm, you are too kind to a dying man.”
“No, I only tell the truth. You must sleep now. I fear that I am keeping you awake.”
“Not at all. Why waste time sleeping, when I do not have long left on this earth. Bonnie, please do not cry!”
“I cannot help it!” She sighed. Theodore stroked the back of her hand with his index finger.  “Your Grace, it seems that each time we grow close, we are parted!”
“ That does not matter. You are here with me now. I wish I could see you.”
“You can my friend. Up here.” She tapped his forehead ever so slightly.
“Yes, that is true. It is strange, as time passes I am beginning to forget people’s faces.”
“Well, your Father’s is very much like your own. You have a very similar mouth and jaw line.”
“Yes, people often say that.”
“And you have his eyes, for they are kind.”
“Hmm, yes. But I have Mother’s cheekbones.”
“I agree.”
“Who do you look most like Bonnie?”
“My Father, I think.”
Theodore nodded. “Hmm.”
“All this talk of families is exhausting you. Little Aggie is at the door, my I feel like I haven’t seen her in an age.”
“Hmm, she comes and goes as she pleases. Father and Mr Howard told me that she stayed on the room when you were not here.”
“Good little Agatha.”
“Quite often, she hides under the bed, I could hear her purring. I do not think she liked Mother.”
“Animals sense things that we can not.”
“I know precisely what you mean.
“You must sleep now, as you have been awake long enough your Grace.”
“Must you be so insistent? ” He sighed.
“I apologise. It is not my place to tell you what to do.”
“Might I have some water?”
“Yes, there is a fresh jug here. I shall help you.” Bonnie placed his arm underneath his neck, supporting his limp body. “I-I’m sorry, does that hurt?”
Theodore took a couple of feeble sips, hesitating before swallowing as Bonnie placed the glass back on the side.

“I thought I’d never see you again Bonnie, I have never felt such an aching as I did when you were gone. I cannot begin to explain the inner torture I endured. I shall never speak to that woman again. There is so little time.”
Bonnie squeezed his hand. “I think your Mother is deeply unhappy, I got in the way I suppose, me being here did not suit her. I shall say no more on the matter, as it is not my place to do so. It only upsets you.”
She gazed at his prominent cheekbones, his face deeply troubled.
“I am sorry to see that you suffered. I-I think…”
Theodore sighed. “What if there is no heaven?”
“Do not fret about such things your Grace. I strongly believe that there is one.”
“I wonder what it is like?”
“Well your Grace, I imagine that it is however you’d like it to be. Picture your favourite things and they shall be included in your own perfect world. It never rains, the sky is always blue and you shall never feel weary, or have to endure suffering again.”
“I should like that.”
“Per-perhaps you won’t die.”
“Bonnie, I can feel my illness.”
“Feel it?
“Yes. I sense it dragging me down, deeper and deeper.”

Bonnie stroked his hair, sensing each silky strand beneath her fingertips.
“It feels soft does it not?”
“Yes, your Grace.”
“Mr Howard is a man of many talents, I have no idea what he washed it with but it has really made a difference. Bonnie?”
“Yes?”
“Tell me another story about your family. I  would love to meet them.”
“Of course. A story, hmmm. Oh goodness, there are so many to tell about Andrew was an unusual child to say the least. He was quite a handful for Mother and Father. There was the time when he decided to wear a basin of flour as a hat as he wore his Sunday best. Father said he looked like the abominable snowman.”
Theodore laughed, placing a hand upon his stomach as a fan.
“Sorry, I don’t want to cause you discomfort.”
“Tell me another.”
“I probably should not.”
“I request it Bonnie. I mean, if you please.”
“Ah. Very well then. I have a question.”
“Ah.”
“What was your first impression of me, your Grace?”
“Forgive me, I am not like I was. I was such a stupid fool, so wrapped in my own pathetic self. All I could think was;  why am I being punished?”
“Well, that is very understandable your Grace. Losing your sight must be very serious, something which I cannot even imagine. Despite everything you did not give up, and for that you should be proud.”
“Proud? No, not I. For-forgive me, I must close my eyes, for despite being blind, they feel so heavy.”
“I’ll stay for a while longer.”
“I-“
“Yes?”
“It is silly.”
“Please say it, your Grace.”
“Would you- sometimes I feel a little scared when I am alone at night, would you hold my hand for a while?”
“Of course. I’ll hold it in mine until you fall asleep.”
“Your hands are so warm.”
Bonnie enclosed his hand in both of hers and blew on it gently, running it between her palms. She stopped, resting her arm on the side of his bed, stroking the back of his hand with her thumb.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014